Bulgaria has the highest mortality rate in the European Union, with infant mortality double the rate of the rest of the EU.
This is according to an annual report on the state of health of Bulgarian citizens, adopted by the cabinet on December 4 2013.
Every fourth death is of a person younger than 65, with heart disease and cancer the leading causes of death overall.
Bulgaria’s birth rate is below the EU average, while the number of terminations of pregnancy is high, double the EU average. In 2012, every 10th termination of pregnancy involved on girl younger than 19.
The report said that the average life expectancy in Bulgaria was continuing to grow, but remained lower than in the EU, while the long-term trend of a decreasing birth rate remained unchanged in 2012.
Premature mortality among men is double that of women, according to the report.
Infant mortality was the lowest in the history of demographic statistics in Bulgaria, the report to the cabinet said, but still was double that of the EU average.
Among Bulgarian children, the major health problems were obesity, eye abnormalities and illnesses of the nervous system.
(Photo of the entrance to Sofia Central Cemetery: Edal Anton Lefterov)